Monday, July 11, 2016

Notes from Our 2-day PA July 4th Vacay

Notes from Our 2-day PA July 4th Vacay
Martin Bodek

Sunday, July 3rd
5:30 AM, 7-mile run, because every vacation has to start with one. It’s the first official run of my marathon training season. Here we go!
Off to Sesame Place with the boys!
Crossing over PA border, it’s very clear that this state really, really, really wants to sell you fireworks.
One of the first towns over the border is Fairless Hills. What isn’t fair about them? Google reveals that it’s a census-designated place (CDP), which I still don’t understand despite rereading the definition repeatedly.
We spend the day at Sesame Place surrounded by water that’s too cold, people in questionably tasteful outfits, nary a tattoo-less human, and frightening surgery scars on display. Our little one gets more love for this Minnesota Vikings cap (having gotten some recently at a Yankee game we attended).
Fully roasted by the sun, and frozen to death by the water (I hear this would be the experience of a astronaut in space sans suit), we head to Philadelphia for dinner.
Judah Mediterranean Grill is quite delicious! Very pleased with the food and service.
On the road again, we pass New Life Church, which has a menorah on its façade. Interesting.
We also pass an Egypt Road. More on that later.
The neighborhood around Philly isn’t so pretty. I think this is precisely where The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was born and raised. There’s a reason he left.
At our hotel, we have the experience of experiences: as we’re headed to our room with our baggage, a guest informs the front desk that he smells smoke. Uh oh, we wait in the lobby for all this to blow over.
Two ladder companies show up. One brings a disco truck. He-Men with massive medieval weapons emerge, fill the lobby and stairways. The boys are dazzled.
The all-clear is given. My wife asks the warriors if they mind if the boys take a picture with them. They oblige happily, switch hats with our Vikings fan, and brandish their weapons. If I was them, I’d freak out from happiness.

Then a frolic in the pool and Jacuzzi, playing catch with deflated beach balls that we found (what, are YOU going to blow them up?).
Vayehi erev, vayehi boker…
Monday, July 4th
Happy birthday, America!
Breakfast in our hotel room.
Off to Scott’s Run Lake, where we spend three hours fishing under the guise and tutelage of Katie, an employee of PA’s Parks Department. PA, in a tourism push, has courses all over the state today, plus permission for anyone to fish without a license.
We catch nothing, but we have the time of our lives, because fishing is interesting, and the boys cast like champs! Big boy is most successful. He gets two nibbles, but no bites. We’re definitely going to try this again.

Giving it our first try.
Two interesting sights when we’re done:
1) A small field, still in the quiet day, but in full motion, because hundreds of fingernail-sized frogs are hopping across it. Fascinating.
2) A strawberry patch, one foot by one foot, in middle of nowhere, probably planted by accident by a single strawberry drop by a hiker, or whoever.
Off to Hopewell Lake, for motorboating – or rather, rowboating with a motor. Darn things maxes out at .2 knots. Still, nice. Boys take turns driving – er, steering.
Wheels up!
We pass a town called Limerick. I take a pic and send to a friend. Inside joke just for him.
We pass Lebanon Road. Now looking for a Jordan Avenue.
Turkey Hill shows up on WaZe. We reroute, because we gotta see, maybe entertain the boys on this long stretch.
During reroute, we spot baby deer, still with the spots on them. Just kids. Venturing too far from home. They’ll probably get a good scolding from their parents.
We then spot baby corn, and show the boys what that looks like.
Turkey Hill is just a gas station, that has some Turkey Hill ice cream. Boring, but we’re not leaving without that ice cream. My wife and I share a Klondike. Not as impressive as the classic commercials make them sound.
We pass Fairview Village. What’s up with all this fairness?
We pit-stop at the mid-point of trip home at Kids Castle, a four-story playground constructed of wood. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a playground that goes this high. It’s fascinating, and intricate, and fun. My wife barbecues while all her boys play, then we get the call when dinner’s ready.
Likely the most awesome playground structure ever.
Some more horseplay in the castle and it’s time to head home.
We pass Burnt House Hill Road. We didn’t get Jordan. We got Ticho House instead.
We pass a scareCOW. Never seen that before.
We pass Street Road. Huh? They have an Avenue Boulevard and Way Drive too?
Aaaaaand home sweet home. Boys conk out before they can watch the fireworks.


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